DMH Holding Forums Across the State

The state’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) Commissioner Barbara Leadholm will be holding a series of forums across Massachusetts over the next few weeks.

The series is titled “Sustaining the Vision of Recovery in Challenging Economic Times” and will focus on how DMH can continue to fulfill its mission and provide services to the mental health community given the fiscal circumstances. For more information, see the DMH announcement.

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Register for the 2010 Leadership Summit

Join us for the 2010 Northeast Home Health Leadership Summit, the premier gathering of home health agency leaders from throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic states.

The Summit is sponsored by the Northeast Home Health Leadership Collaborative, a consortium of state home care trade associations representing provider and associate members in the northeast.

This cutting-edge conference — now in its eighth year is attended by home care executives seeking to take their operation to the next level. The Summit is unique from other leadership conferences in that it focuses on future trends in health care and management and brings thought leaders from the business and policy sectors. The Summit is also an excellent opportunity to network with peers.

Though the 2010 Summit is being held in Boston, the Home Care Association of New York will handle all registration. HCA of Massachusetts members will receive their member discount.

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Senate Finance Committee Passes Health Reform Plan

CNN.com is reporting that the Senate Finance Committee has voted 14-9 in favor of a plan that would bring coverage to an estimated 29 million Americans at a projected cost of $829 billion over ten years. See the CNN story here.

Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe crossed party lines to lend her support to the committee’s proposal and, in doing so, was the only Republican to vote in favor.

Other similar stories appeared in:

New York Times: Senate Panel Clears Health Bill with One GOP Vote.

FOX News: Health Care Reform Clears Final Senate Panel

USA Today: Health Care Bill Passes Senate Panel

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Professional Development for Healthcare Staff Opportunity

The course is free, but space is very limited for an all-day training session on professional development for health care staff, presented by PHI.

See this flyer to view details on the course, including information on how to register.

Professional Development for Health Care Staff: Teaching the Adult Learner.

When: Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Where: Milford Care & Rehab Center, 10 Veterans Memorial Drive, Milford, MA

Time: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Content: Tools and Techniques for Educators in a Health Care setting

Audience: Anyone with a staff training role

Credit: 5.5 contact hours from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (All participants must attend full day in order to earn CEU’s)

Cost: Free

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EOHHS Seeking Budget Input

Given declining tax revenues and the inevitable end to the influx of federal stimulus funds, the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) is seeking input on “potential efficiencies, cost-saving initiatives and partnership opportunities that will preserve core services to the fullest extent possible without additional expenditures.”

EOHHS Legislative and Policy Affairs Director David Martin sent out an email saying that the budget hearings scheduled for early October had to be canceled until the full extent of the state revenue picture can be understood.

Also in the email, a questionnaire was distributed to be a guide for any future budget testimony, or to be included as a supplement to any testimony, submitted when the hearings are rescheduled.

Please take a look at the questionnaire and return answers to the Alliance so that we can submit as many comments as possible to EOHHS. If you have any questions, would like more information, or need any guidance on the questions, please contact us.

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Alliance Gets a Word in on Health Care Payment Reform

A stuffy hearing room in the State House played host to a packed crowd of people interested in offering comments, and witnessing the comments of others, regarding the recommendations of the Health Care Payment Reform Commission.

Click here to see more information on the Payment Reform Commission, including their recommendations.

On behalf of the Alliance, Board Member, Co-Chair of the Alliance’s Legislative Committee, and President of the Brockton VNA Beverly Pavasaris gave a great presentation of testimony to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. Click here to view the Alliance’s testimony.

As Pavasaris explained in her comments:

A well-designed ACO model focused on cost and outcome could provide a chance for home health services to truly demonstrate our value. On the other hand, if the system is not open to home health’s participation as a partner, then I fear that many home health agencies serving the most vulnerable populations in every city and town could be left out and their centuries of successful public health and chronic care management experience lost.   It is interesting to note that although the daily home healthcare census in any local community is often greater than the number of hospitalized patients, home care received no mention in the Commission’s report, except perhaps in two or three references to “ancillary providers.”

Leading off the speakers were Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby and, on her last day on the job, Secretary of Administration & Finance Leslie Kirwan. They spoke of how Massachusetts can do better by providing more coordinated care and, although the state ranks near the top in issues of access, it is into the bottom half of states when it comes to cost and efficiency.

Secretary Bigby mentioned that the state can’t just create “another code,” but has to pay for a better system.

Other speakers included Massachusetts Inspector General Greg Sullivan and panels of testifiers from Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Hospital Association, Health Care for All, AARP, 1199 SEIU, and Cambridge Health Alliance.

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2010 Guide to Private Home Care Services Released

The Home Care Alliance has released the 2010 Guide to Private Home Care Services: A Directory of Private Home Care Agencies in Massachusetts. The directory offers Massachusetts residents a listing of reputable, professional home care providers by town and county as well as valuable information on how to both choose and pay for home care.

See the Alliance’s news release announcing the availability of the new guide and please click here to order your own copy.

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